7 Low Calorie High Protein Snacks for Cutting Weight

Are you looking to lose weight? Or maybe you’re looking to lose body fat while keeping your gains? Nutrition is key when it comes to cutting weight and opting for snacks that are both low in calories and high in protein can help keep your cravings at bay without compromising on nutrition.

In this article, we’ll be exploring 7 low calorie high protein snacks that can help keep your calorie count low while hitting your protein intake goals.

Low Calorie High Protein Snacks:

Tuna sandwich or Salad

tuna salad 
low calorie high protein snacks

Calories: 70

Protein: 16g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: Starkists: 3oz Chunks Light Tuna in water)

Canned tuna is an affordable and quality source of protein. Just one can of tuna carries 16 grams of protein. You can enjoy this between 2 slices of bread or as a lower-calorie option, in a salad.

Hard-boiled eggs

hard boiled egg

Calories: 72

Protein: 6g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: 1 Hard Boiled Egg)

Egg’s nutritional facts can vary between sizes, but eggs are a great source of high-quality protein. These little eggs carry all 9 essential amino acids which are important in building muscle. Just 1 hard-boiled egg can carry 6-7g of protein. You can eat them as is or add them to a salad.

Cottage cheese

cottage cheese

Calories: 185

Protein: 25g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: 1 cup of cottage cheese)

Cottage cheese is a protein-dense snack. Just one cup of cottage cheese carries 25 grams of protein. Cottage cheese is great with some fruit, honey, granola, or whatever low-calorie toppings you like.

String cheese/Cheese sticks


Calories: 90

Protein: 7g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: 1 (28g) Sargento Mozzerella Stick)

Whether it’s string cheese, cubed, or sliced, cheese is a great snack to boost your protein intake while providing a good source of some healthy fat. Although the nutrition facts can vary depending type of cheese, a 28g stick of mozzarella carries 7g of complete protein.

Protein bars

protein bar

Calories: 200

Protein: 20g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: Pure Protein Chocolate Peanut butter)

You can’t mention protein snacks without mentioning a protein bar. Protein bars are one of the most popular sources of protein since it’s a convenient snack. The nutrition facts vary drastically from bar to bar, but a standard bar can contain anywhere from 10-20g of protein.

When looking for the right protein bar, be sure to stay away from low protein content and high amounts of added sugar.

Protein shake

protein shake

Calories: 160

Protein: 30g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: Chocolate Premier Protein Shake)

Another popular protein source is a protein shake. Protein shakes are easy to consume and low-calorie. These can be in powder form mixed with water or premade shakes.

Although the nutritional contents can vary drastically, you can expect many to be under 300 calories and contain anywhere from 20-30 grams of protein.

Homemade Parfait


Calories: 150-300

Protein: 19-30g

Complete Protein: Yes

(Reference: 1 cup of 2% fat Greek Yogurt, fruit, and granola)

A homemade parfait is a great source of protein and healthy fats. Using Greek yogurt, you can make a macro-friendly and satisfying snack.

Depending on the toppings you choose, you can expect over 20g of protein with just 1 cup of 2% fat Greek yogurt, some fresh fruit, and your favorite low-calorie granola.

What are Complete Proteins?

In total, there are 20 amino acids that your body uses to function properly. 9 of these amino acids are known as “essential amino acids”, meaning you must contain them through your diet since your body doesn’t produce them on its own.

Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids that the body needs to function properly. They are found primarily in animal sources such as meats, eggs, fish, dairy products, and some plant proteins like quinoa and soy.

Consuming complete proteins is important for building muscle mass and maintaining a healthy weight because they contain all of the amino acids that the body needs to build and repair muscle tissue.

Therefore, incorporating complete proteins into snacks is a great way to ensure adequate protein intake throughout the day.

Why is Protein Important?

Protein is a macronutrient that plays an important role in the body. It helps to build and repair cells and regulates hormones, enzymes, and other bodily functions. Protein is also essential for muscle growth and maintenance.

Eating enough protein can help to increase lean body mass, maintain a healthy weight, and improve energy levels.

Additionally, it helps to keep you fuller for longer, which can help with weight management. Eating protein-rich snacks throughout the day is a great way to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet.

How much protein do you need?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight.

When you’re building muscle or leading a more physically active lifestyle, it’s recommended to increase your protein intake to about 1.4-2.0g per kilogram of body weight.

On the other hand, if you’re in a caloric deficit or cutting phase, you may need higher ranges of 2.3-3.1g per kilogram of body weight to maintain lean muscle mass (Morton, 2017).

If all these numbers seem confusing, a general rule of thumb is to aim for around 1g of protein per pound of body weight. (For example, a 150lb male should try to consume close to 150g of protein.)

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, incorporating healthy snacks in your diet is a great way to fuel your body in a balanced, nourishing way. Eating more protein-rich snacks can be an incredibly healthy and delicious habit that supports not only better health in the short term but consistent health and weight management over the long term.

Trying these low-calorie high-protein snacks might just surprise you with both their incredible taste and their powerful nutrition benefits to help you reach those protein intake goals.

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